A male rescue cat which repeatedly clawed its fur off has been given pink FALSE NAILS to stop scratching itself to bits.
Two-year-old moggy Archie was taken in after being found covered in blood and wandering by the side of a road in January this year.
The ginger-and-white tom cat was given a home at a local rescue centre who dressed its neck injury but Archie repeatedly scratched it causing it to become infected.
After months of re-dressing the wound, rescuers finally solved the problem by gluing tiny false nails over the top of Archie’s back claws.
Since having the soft-edged pink nails fitted, Archie has not scratched at the scab and now the wound is healing.
Sarah Wells, who runs Rose Cottage Cat Rescue centre, in Craven Arms, Shrops., where Archie was taken in, said: “He arrived with cuts across his neck but the injury was made worse by his constant scratching.
“His fur was coming off in chunks as a result.
“At the start we thought it could have been an allergic reaction to flea treatment but that usually goes within a few days.
“So I took him to the vet. After a while, she said we were really running out of options.
“The wound just wasn’t healing since Archie kept itching and scratching it.
“It was sort of a vicious circle. The more his neck itched, the more he would scratch and so on.
“Every time it started to heal, he scratched the scab off and then we were back to square one.”
Sarah, 49, who runs the centre which cares for up to 100 rescue cats a year, finally stumbled across the idea of false nails after watching a TV programme.
She added: “I was watching a show about a woman whose nails were so long she couldn’t pick anything up or even itch herself.
“It got me thinking about Archie. I discussed the problem again with the vet who suggested soft claws.
“I have seen them in the paper being used more for fashion really, and thought my goodness, whatever next.
“But so far I’m optimistic, cautiously optimistic.
“This is a problem that he might well have for the rest of his life but if we can just stop him from damaging the skin himself and give it a chance to heal then hopefully it will be in control.
“He’s had them on since Sunday so it’s early days.
“My friend ordered them online and she thought that white ones wouldn’t be a good idea because we wouldn’t be able to see them very well so she ordered bright pink.
“Archie is such a sweet cat.
“He’s not aggressive with other cats and he loves people. He’s very laid back.”
Once Archie’s wound is fully healed, Sarah will remove his false nails before offering him up for re-homing.
Archie’s fake nails are made of soft plastic which fit over the claws like a glove and are attached to his back paws using special animal-friendly glue.
The nails last for about six weeks before dropping off naturally.